And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Having looked yesterday at the goodness of Jesus, we return today to these simple verses that reveal so much about our Lord.
Notice that Jesus stretches out his hand and touches him. We know something today of the danger and contagiousness of illnesses, but Jesus had no PPE. Leprosy was a terrible illness both medically and socially, but Jesus paid no attention to his own safety, he simply reached out and touched the leper.
What does this reveal about Jesus? It shows us that Jesus is kind and compassionate.
On one level this is no surprise to us, as we see over and over how compassionate Jesus was with people when on Earth (see Matt. 14:4, 15:32). But do we take this for granted, and have we grasped the earth-shattering consequences of this for us as needy sinners?
Jesus was always moved when he saw a need during his earthly ministry. Because of his great compassion and love, his first reaction was to reach out and help, and we see it clearly in this event as he responds to the leper’s plea for help. Listen to his words – ‘I will’ – of course he wants to help, what else could he do? He is compassion and kindness in their purest form and the source of all that is good and pure in the whole cosmos.
Jesus’ calling card is compassion and kindness.
How often do you and I feel so unworthy or unable to approach God? We are aware of our own sin and struggles and are often burdened by heavy needs and by issues that are beyond our own abilities to fix. But that makes us just the kind of people that Jesus is looking for – it is our need and lowliness that qualifies us for his kindness and compassion. What comfort!
Never let the devil tempt you to think that you are too needy for Jesus. If you are aware of your need, run to him and shout out as the leper did, “Lord, if you desire, you can make me clean”. And wonder as those arms that were stretched out and nailed to the tree, move, and stretch towards you in your need. What a Saviour!
Jesus is beautiful in his kindness.